Is your marketing team using video content to its fullest potential?
Wyzowl’s 2021 State of Video Marketing report found that businesses increasingly use video marketing, with an estimated 86% of teams creating video content today. Some teams have achieved a notable return on investment (ROI) through video, including boosts to website traffic, the average time users spend on a web page, and even direct sales, plus a decrease in support calls.
However, the report found that not all teams are prepared for success with video. Nearly 20% of non-video marketers don’t know where to start with video, and 30% of teams have a decreased video budget because of the pandemic.
To help teams understand how to create and distribute effective video content, let’s explore what equipment you need, the common ways you can use video in marketing, and examples of brands that exemplify the best practices of video.
Recommended Equipment for Video Content Creation
What equipment is necessary to create effective videos for marketing? All you need is a smartphone or laptop (yes, really).
Most modern phones and laptops with built-in webcams—and free-to-use social media or video hosting sites and apps—have ample video and audio recording and editing capabilities. However, we recommend you start with just your smartphone to get comfortable creating and integrating video content into your marketing strategy.
After your team matures with video and can demonstrate its ROI, you can explore purchasing new equipment, like a DSLR camera or recording device, boom mics, and advanced editing software like Adobe Premiere.
A few completely optional (but incredibly helpful!) pieces of equipment you can use to enhance the quality of your video marketing include:
- A microphone for improved audio quality, like the Shure MV5 (affiliate link*) or one of the Blue Yeti (affiliate link*) offerings, or a lapel mic
- Ample lighting support, like a ring light (affiliate link*) (this New York Times article reviews some of your best options) or umbrella lights
* Note that if you purchase an item through our affiliate links, you do not pay a higher price, and a portion of your purchase price benefits this blog.
5 Types of Video to Include in Your Content Marketing Plan
Knowing that you can create video content with just a smartphone or laptop, the next question to tackle is what type of video content is relevant for brand audiences?
Remember that the purpose of any content you create is to help solve problems for your customers or community and strengthen your relationship with them. Remember, too, that some members of your audience prefer video content over other types of content.
Here are a few essential ways that teams can use video as part of their content marketing strategy:
Product demo videos are invaluable for helping your prospective customers understand the potential benefits of your product and how it can help them in their day-to-day work. These videos showcase your product and detail its features or capabilities. These videos can range from a quick 2-minute promo video or a 20-minute, in-depth walkthrough.
Consumer product companies can look toward brands like Apple, with its consistently striking product advertisements and demos (see here for all of its iPhone 12 videos), for inspiration on product demo videos. Software brands will often create more in-depth demos focused on helping customers gain the product’s full value and understand lesser-known features, like in this product demo from MeetEdgar (which we use to help manage our social media accounts).
Marketing teams need to demonstrate and reinforce the company’s branding, and video is a great medium to do so. These branding videos can explore elements like your company’s culture or mission. Or they can simply position your brand within the larger community that it serves. Video can be especially effective for branding because it has better potential to evoke emotion and capture attention.
The Shakr team shares eight example brand videos you can be inspired by, and personal branding expert Christine Gritmon was previously on #ContentChat to share her tips on how to use video for personal branding.
Customer case studies and testimonials
Your customer testimonials will shine through on video. For customers who can tell compelling transformation stories, create a video case study where the customer explains the challenges they faced, how they used your product or service, and their results.
Salesforce has a range of great customer case study videos you can review for inspiration. In addition, our consultancy founder Erika provides a detailed walkthrough of how to create customer case studies in this post.
Fireside chats or Q&As
Think about the topics of interest to your community and the challenges they often face. Curate fireside chat conversations or Q&A opportunities on social media to dive into these topics and garner real-time engagement.
Remember that a casual, candid conversation can go a long way for your community, so do not obsess over creating a detailed script ahead of your chats. Instead, start small and casual, and refine your strategy as you go.
Our community member Shane Shaps hosts Let’s Get Real, a weekly conversation about having an authentic voice on social media, which is an excellent example of how you can approach a Q&A or fireside chat-type topic. The Vimeo team also has this detailed walkthrough on how to host a successful fireside chat.
Event sizzle reels
In the absence of in-person event experiences, many teams have created all-virtual or hybrid event experiences to keep connected with their communities. We recommend you create videos to promote these events, highlight the benefits of each attendance type, and share learnings from the sessions.
We’re huge fans of the Content Marketing Institute, and we recommend you check out their #CMWorld playlists on YouTube to see how you can extend the value of your event using video.
Best Practices for Video Content
After creating your first video, work to refine your approach to ensure that everyone can access and consume your video without detracting from the rest of their content experience.
In general, follow these best practices with your video content:
- Upload your video to YouTube or a similar video-hosting site. Then embed the video to your site page or blog post as relevant. This will help with load times, which could boost the SEO value of your content. Additionally, most video-hosting sites have robust search functions and features that enable you to organize, tag, and provide a description of your videos, increasing the likelihood of people watching your videos.
- Include captions, but be wary of auto-generated ones. We recommend you manually add captions to your videos to ensure they are accurate. Review where the captions are placed, factoring for any channel-specific logos, other on-screen text, or video frames as your captions could hide those.
- Post transcripts to boost your SEO. When possible, include a transcript of your video. This is most natural if you do a blog post that consists of the video and a full transcript. This will make finding the video easier for your community, especially if you optimize the transcript with SEO keywords.
- Repurpose your video content. Create GIFs or snippets from your video to amplify that content on social media or across channels. Take a small segment of the video to highlight a specific point. Then use its call to action to encourage watching the full video to learn more.
Video is One Part of A Complete Content Ecosystem
We recommend you experiment with different video styles, formats, and lengths to see what resonates best with your community. Then, regularly assess the views, comments, shares, and other KPIs to ensure that your videos meet the intended results.
One way to get started: Revisit your highest-performing content from the past year and see if there is a natural video element you can introduce. Use this video to re-promote your piece on social media and through other channels. For all future content, plan for any video components from the earliest planning phases. This way, you can efficiently create video content to provide value to your community.
If you’d like to learn more about how to integrate video content into your content marketing strategy, send us a message.